|L-R: Rustam ji Taraporevala, Julia Dutta, Erica Taraporevala|
The one missing from the picture above is Sengupta aunty.
The beautiful, vivacious, talkative, forgetful but forever young lady, Anima Sengupta, mother of my school friend Erica Taraporevala just left planet earth on 7th May, 2015.
The last time, I met her was when I wined and dined with the entire family at their lovely residence, at Nagar Road, Pune, two years ago. Sengupta aunty and I engaged with talking about the days, we all lived very happily in the LIC Colony, Borivali, Mumbai. We recalled, while her daughter and son-in-law went to bed upstairs, about the times when in that colony was a little town made of Bengalis who had come to live from different parts of India and of course Bombay. Did I remember, Bhattarji uncle, and his pure Bangal accent and the way he made us laugh? Of course I did! When he related the story of the young boys playing in the football field had gathered with mock show of fearlessness, rolling up their sleeves and tucking in their lungis (football was played in lungis, the national dress of Bangladeshi men in the 50s) to fight against establishment, but no sooner had the police come to lathi charge them, they fled so hard that some of the boys even went bottomless, because, their lungis had dropped off and they did not even realize it!? And just as in those days, we all laughed so much, Sengupta aunty and I cracked the night air with our giggles.
And of course the time, she went to Juhu beach and the naughty wave came forcefully in and grabbed her set of Made-in-London dentures, the whole set, leaving her toothless but not humour deprived. Sengupta aunty and my maternal aunt, my mashi were very good friends and often when school broke and I returned home to a snack before dinner, Sengupta aunty was in our house chatting with my mashi.
“My God, Mrs Shyam, it is late!" She gasped, "Erica must have come home too. Let me rush back!”
This time too when we met, we talked of the past and memories filled like never before. Talking to her made me realize that she filled up a void in my heart - when she and I talked, it was just like when I lay on my diwan in the drawing room and my mashi sat after dinner on the sofa and we chatted about this and that, people from the past and incidents etched in our minds.
That luxury is now lost. The moments of togetherness as niece and aunt, are gone forever now. Sengupta aunty was a great story teller, and so is her daughter, Erica Taraporevala. Like mother ; like daughter.
And I, will always miss the closeness of that hour when we talked, just like I talked with my aunt, my mashi. The door to that story in my life is forever closed now.
Goodbye Sengupta Aunty! I know you are having a great time out there, meeting up and talking about the past on planet earth with all those who left before you, from Borivali LIC Colony Bongo Samaj!
Ebar janai propam!
|R-L: Sengupta Aunty, Rustam ji Taraporevala, Persis, Erica, Mrs Freny Ginwala , Natasha.|